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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Coleman whitegas lantern

By Abraham

I hope you know how to use Coleman whitegas equipment, but if you don’t this entry is for you. Coleman makes all kinds of products for the outdoors. Let’s focus on Coleman’s whitegas appliances in general and Coleman whitegas lanterns in particular. As far as I know all of Coleman’s whitegas stoves and lanterns run basically the same way. As a fuel, I like whitegas. It seems to last a long time, i.e. it doesn’t go bad, and in my experience works pretty well at cold temperatures. I’ve used both whitegas stoves and lanterns winter camping and never had a problem lighting them. I have had problems with propane stoves in the cold. You don’t have to buy some European equipment. Coleman is proven bulletproof.

This is a Coleman Peak 1 lantern.

lantBecause it’s a dual fuel lantern it will run off of whitegas or unleaded gas. Flexibility is a good thing in just about all circumstances. It’s really designed for backpacking because it’s pretty small. I’d say this model holds maybe 1/2 pint of fuel and can run between 3-5 hours depending on how high you turn it up.

Coleman also makes a two mantle (more to follow) lantern that burns as bright as any electric light in your house. Downside it uses more fuel and is quite a bit heavier. The two mantles are great for car camping and canoeing.

The parts-

lant1The white thing that’s hanging in the glass chimney area is the mantle. This is a one mantle lantern. Two mantle lanterns have two mantles hanging side by side. The mantles are fragile so you can’t bang the lantern around too much or you’ll be replacing a lot of mantles. In this picture the brass thing to the right of the mantle is the generator. Fuel gets sucked up from the tank, heats up in the generator, gets turned into a mist then mixes with air in the glass chimney area and ignites which makes the mantle glow. Till the generator gets heated up Coleman stuff doesn’t work right so don’t worry if it sputters a bit when you first light Coleman whitegas equipment.

The silver metal thing facing front is the pump. This is how you pressurize the fuel in the tank so that it gets forced up to burn. You turn it counterclockwise to loosen it and righty tighty.

This is where you pour the fuel into the tank.

lant2You notice how this cap has a strap attached to it so I can’t lose it? They sell extra caps for a reason. Either make sure that you have a strap or buy some replacement caps. Otherwise I guarantee that you will drop it and lose it. I can see it happening to me, drop the cap on the ice and the cap unimaginably lands on its side and rolls 45 feet like a Tiger Woods putt right into the only hole on the ice for 1/4 mile in every direction. It’s one of those strikes of bad luck that you couldn’t do again if someone offered you a million $’s. But I digress…

After you fill it with fuel and replace the cap tightly….lant3Then you unscrew the pump handle and pull it up. You place your thumb over the little hole on top of the pump handle and pump it a bunch of times, maybe 5, 10, 15 or 25. It depends on how much fuel is in the tank. You’ll feel it get tougher and tougher to pump as you pressurize it. Don’t force it, but you want it to be pressurized so don’t stop until you feel resistance. Then at that point you push the handle all the way in and tighten it up. Remember, just like in politics, righty tighty and lefty loosey.

lantOn the left you see the control knob. It’s that black thing. You kind of have to push it into turn it. The way it’s pointed now, 9 towards 3, is off. You push it in and turn it so that it’s pointing 3 towards 9 to light it and all the points in between control the brightness. I didn’t mention it earlier, but you see that nice metal handle? That’s nice and useful. To remove the glass chimney you stretch one side of the metal handle out of the hole it sits in then you pull the cap off and then you can remove or replace the glass. Just like the Chiltons manual says, “Reassemble in reverse order.”

So you finished filling it, pumping and now you know how to turn it on. Light your match and stick it through this hole in the bottom of the glass chimney area

lant41So you got your lit match stuck up the hole, now you push in that black control knob and turn it all the way to the light position. You should hear a hissing as the pressure in the tank forces the fuel up the generator and out the mantle. You may have to get your lit match right up close to the mantle. Be careful not to poke your match through the mantle though. The mantle will kind of glow and sputter. Coleman stuff takes a few seconds to really get running the way it should.

At this point I always find it’s a good time to give the lantern a few more pumps so unscrew the pump handle, pull it out, thumb over hole and give it a few more pumps. Notice how the glow on the mantle changes? Learn from it. Screw the handle back in and if it seems like it’s pretty well caught you can use the black knob to turn it down a bit. You may have to give it a few more pumps. As long as you have a whitegas unit lantern/stove going you have to pay attention to it and pump it every once in a while. It takes a little while to get used to it. After five uses you’ll be an expert.

lant6Pretty bright, aye?

To remove the glass chimney-

lant711First you pull one end of the wire handle out of the hole it sits in. Then bend the other side of the handle out of its hole. Now that the handle is free.

lant8Then remove the black cap from the top of the lantern.

lant9Then you can remove the glass chimney to get to the mantle. Replacing a mantle is fine work. They sell two kinds, ones that you need to tie and ones that are already looped through and you just have to pull the threads to tighten the loop. The latter is easier to use so those are the ones I prefer, but if you have good eyes and good fingers you can save a few cents and get the kind that you need to tie yourself.

  • Other manufacturer’s may be fine. I have Coleman. I like Coleman. The only problem I had with a Coleman product was when the generator on my little hiking Peak 1 stove got clogged from years of use. I was able to buy a new generator for $15 and fix it myself. Easy to do.lant7
  • The first time you use a mantle lantern out of the box you have to do something kind of strange to it. You need to set it on fire. No, not the lantern, the mantle. These are the mantles. You want to have at least four times more mantles than you ever think you may need. I have some in the box that I store the lantern in, but I also ducktaped some to the bottom of the lantern too. If you are camping or on a river there will always be someone who forgot to bring an extra mantle and is looking to get one. So the first time you use the lantern you have to tie a mantle to the outlet where the gas is emitted. Pull the metal handle out, remove the cap from the top of the lantern and tie the mantle on where it belongs. Then replace the glass and cap. Now the neat thing, you light the brand new mantle on fire. No fuel needed. You just stick a match through the ignition hole and set the new mantle ablaze. Let it burn out. It will keep hanging there. I’m still amazed how you use the ashes of the mantle as a filament. The mantle ash is what glows. I don’t understand it, but it works.
  • Remember it operates under pressure so if you go to remove the fuel cap it will hiss at you as the pressure is released.
Original: http://hotdogjam.wordpress.com/2009/01/28/coleman-whitegas-lantern/

Buy Food Now Before Prices Rise More

From http://www.colorado-preppers.blogspot.com/:

Prices for food basics like wheat, rice, and beans (among other things) have risen so much these recent months. And now, prices in grocery ads says they are "fixed" until April 2009. Wondering just how much grocery/food prices will increase as of April. We will be stocking up between now and then, but meanwhile, take a look at the following links:

Did you read our posting yesterday about how Sam's Club is limiting purchases of big bags of rice to 4 per member?

Make your lists of your basic foods needed. Be sure to stock up on your basics. Get that membership for food clubs now. Buy in bulk there and everywhere else.

Original: http://survival-cooking.blogspot.com/2009/01/buy-food-now-before-prices-rise-more.html

Recipe: How to Make Soy Milk

Hubby is lactose intolerant, so, although we will get a mini milk cow and possibly a goat when we get our little farm, we'll make milk from soybeans that we've grown ourselves. And since we'll probably make a lot, we'll need an automatic soymilk maker (soy milk machine). Meanwhile, here's a recipe for making soy milk without a machine.

Ingredients and Directions:
  1. Gather about 125 g whole soy beans. * This will make 1 liter of soy milk.

  2. Crack the soybeans.

  3. Soak and dehull the soy beans.

  4. Clean the soy beans.

  5. Soak in water for 6-9 hours.

  6. Remove hulls by rubbing in hands (kneading).

  7. Rinse soybeans again to get rid of loose hulls. This helps the process.

  8. Microwave the wet soy beans for 2 minutes (to destroy enzymes that could make it taste beany instead of milky).

  9. Add the soaked soy beans and 1 liter of water to a blender. Grind well.

  10. Strain the mixture through a cheese cloth to get the soy milk. The leftover part is called okara and can be used to make bread, crackers, or cattle feed.

  11. Boil the soy milk for 5-10 minutes.

  12. Cool and refrigerate in a mason jar. Label with date and kind of milk. Use within 3 days.

* Gram is a measurement of mass. There are 4.5 ounces to 125 grams.

Can add a bit of salt, chocolate syrup and/or vanilla extract to flavor the milk. Can also add a few teaspoons of brown rice syrup while warm - stir well. Can use as with any other milk to cook or make smoothies.

We're researching recipes to use our soy milk. Do you have any?

Copyright (c) 2009 New View Group, LLC

Original: http://survival-cooking.blogspot.com/2009/01/recipe-how-to-make-soy-milk.html

prep rehash

In honor of all my new loyal minions, I'm going to rehash the basics for frugal prepping. I'm sure my long time readers could care less. I had originally planned on a rehash on bolt guns instead of semi's, sure to generate howls of protest from troll section. I'll include that here, just so I can slog through fifty friggin comments about what an idiot I am. That is sure to brighten my day and focus my disapproval.
Every time I bring up the backbone of your survival diet being wheat, I get assorted complaints. Bland, boring, less nutritious. The basic frugal preparedness plan is a bare bones, better than nothing plan. It contains no bells or whistles. It is what will keep you alive if the world ends tomorrow. It is not meant to be purchased and then forgotten. Ideally, it will be added on to. If the ideal is not met, at least it will keep you alive. Survivalism is about surviving, not about continuing a modern luxury existence without interruption. Buy four hundred pounds of wheat kernels per person if you want a years worth of food. Go to the feed store and buy bags of whole wheat kernels. Not flour, not flakes. And not treated with any vet medicine. Then buy yourself a grain grinder. A corn mill. Google 'corn mill' or 'corn grinder', or go to the link for Amazon products at my web site www.bisonpress.com to buy a $25 grinder. It is a cast iron grinder. It will outlive you if not left in the rain. It is meant as a rough grinder. Not a fine flour grinder. So with wheat you start at a course grind, run it through, grind again a little finer. It takes three or four times through the grinder to get nice wheat flour. Shut up and do the extra work, it is cheaper than spending $300 for a fancy mill.
The wheat should have a little diatamacous earth ( food grade, not pool grade ) sprinkled in it to control bugs ( also at my Amazon store ). Half a cup per five gallon bucket is good. You put in with the kernels and roll the sealed bucket around to distribute. Buy food grade buckets. Wal-Mart used to have them in the paint section. I wrote an article about, but damned if I can find it ( anyone? a little help here ). Wheat has the highest protein content of commercial grains, although it is not a complete protein like meat is. For that you need to supplement it with beans. If it is all you have, you will eventually suffer from lack of protein, assuming you can't kill some rabbits or something. Again, this is bare bones, better than nothing.
You will need three five gallon buckets per hundred pounds of wheat. If bought new rather than used from the bakery or BBQ joint ( take them to the car wash and hot water pressure wash them if dried on food inside ) you will spend about $20 per hundred pounds on buckets. About $200 per person for four hundred pounds, wheat and buckets. A lot more expensive than it used to be. Failing all of the above, just get rice and beans at the market. Next up, for water. If you live in a wood abundant environment, just boil all your water. It doesn't have to be boiled, just brought to a boil. All the germs are killed by then. Everyone else needs to buy a ceramic filter. Buy a Berky replacement filter, about $50. To make your own Berky filter unit ( the one with the multiple stick looking filters in a big bucket ) take one poly bucket and drill a hole in the bottom the same size as the filter spout. Set it on top of another bucket with lid on and that lid also having a hole. Fill the top, it filters through to the bottom. Good for 10k gallons. You can quibble all day about plastic chemical leaching, thus needing to buy $10 food buckets and $300 stainless steel water filters, but this is in a calamity, total collapse situation. You'll be dead from warfare long before you might get cancer from plastic buckets.
Now get yourself a rifle. Not a $1,500 battle rifle that take $20 magazines and sixty cent .308 ammo. A World War Two surplus bolt action rifle. They are dirt cheap and built like a tank. I like the Enfield, but the Russian 91/30 ( don't get the 44 carbine ) is three quarters of that price. I don't recommend the Russian gun, as it has no gas escape feature. But no one else, including long time users and reloaders, share my concern. Up to you. The Mauser family has much more accurate rifles than the Enfield ( the 303 is great for dirty field conditions but suffers in the accuracy department. The Mausers are accurate but jam with dirt ) and cost somewhere between the $150 Enfield and the $100 Russian. Now, you could buy an SKS for just $25 more than a Enfield, but I discourage semi's in all categories ( pistols, rimfires and rifles ). You can't assume a continuation of ammunition. And you are too poor to stockpile 20k rounds. Either Obammy taxes ammunition much more, supplies stay scarce, imports from Russia are outlawed, or after a collapse no more ammunition is produced. When poor, the only option is to use much less ammunition. Under the stress of combat, semi's are sprayed and prayed. With a bolt action you must be much more careful before you fire. Because you aren't covering yourself with a wall of lead and because it will take valuable seconds to reload. Ammunition is high tech. It won't last forever and must be conserved.
Buy as much ammo as you can. Even a hundred bucks worth is going to be far better than nothing ( a pile of worthless paper dollars being saved for a future semi purchase is not as good as a surplus bolt gun with bayonet and three hundred rounds of thirty caliber ammunition ). So far, you've spent about five hundred bucks. You have protection with food and water. You need a lot more, such as shovels or saws or other tools, camping cookware, wool clothing and blankets, knives, etc. But this will get you far down the road towards a preparedness stockpile. Which is far better than 99% of the population.

Original: http://bisonsurvivalblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/prep-rehash.html

Review: Volcano Stove II

Last week I had the opportunity to get in on a group buy for the Volcano II stove. (Sorry, I would have shared the details but I found out about it very last minute and barely made it in myself!) I had heard good things about this stove, and after a brief review of its features and online ratings, I decided to acquire one.

The main reason I wanted to add this to my supplies is its versatility—Volcano stoves can use charcoal, wood, or propane (with the adapter). I found this setup very desirable, since while my fuel may be diversified, this single stove can handle almost everything I throw at it. It’s made to accommodate dutch ovens, or you can lay down the included grill on top and use a normal pan, pot, or cook your things directly on it. And cleanup is as simple as turning the stove over and dumping the remnants out (unless you’re using propane, of course).

Another great feature of the Volcano is its unique heat chamber that channels the heat upwards towards your food, instead of wasting fuel by expelling heat out the sides and bottom. This also means that the area surrounding the stove is cooler than conventional stoves, allowing you to cook with the stove on a variety of surfaces that you normally might not use for putting your stove on.

Below are the pictures of my grand unveiling when I opened and first used the stove.

The box it comes in:

1 Review: Volcano Stove II

Opening the box:

2 Review: Volcano Stove II

The oven comes in a sturdy bag for easy transportation. The stove weighs 22 pounds and is about 16″ x 16″ x 4″ when closed (13″ high when open).


This is what the kit looks like when the bag is first opened:

4 Review: Volcano Stove II

Here are the contents of the kit fully unwrapped. From top left, clockwise: heat deflector plate, grills, stove, propane adapter, propane hose (this hooks to the 20 lb. tanks; you can buy an adapter for the 1 lb. tanks for ~$40), 2 tools for the propane assembly, manual.

5 Review: Volcano Stove II

Opening and closing the stove is brain-dead easy and some pretty cool engineering. By simply pulling up on the handle, the entire stove pops open, the legs unfold, and you’re set. To close the stove you lift up from the bottom, the stove folds in on itself, and the legs retract. Very cool. I opened and closed it a few times just to marvel at its elegant simplicity. :)

7 Review: Volcano Stove II

The propane assembly simply sits inside the stove as you see below:

8 Review: Volcano Stove II

Here is the stove hooked up to a propane tank, ready for use:

9 Review: Volcano Stove II

The propane hose comes with its own valve, so I had to open the fuel on the tank itself, and then on the hose. In addition, the stove has adjustable vents to control the amount of oxygen in the stove; this is more for using wood/charcoal and controlling how much oxygen is getting to your embers.

10 Review: Volcano Stove II

Mmmm, fire……

11 Review: Volcano Stove II

I’m very pleased with this stove so far and look forward to using it in the future. And yes, I would have been just as happy with it had I paid retail price. :)

Original: http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UtahPreppers/~3/525461498/

Audio Podcast: Low Cost Bug Out Location Options

icon for podpress Episode-130- Low Cost Bug Out Location Options [40:29m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

Picture your ideal bug out location. You can see it now, 80 acres of remote land, half in pasture and plowable and half in timber with lots of native nut trees and wild life. Remote enough to be out of the way but still have access to what is left of society after a big crash. Solar panels and wind gen at the ready, power from the grid not even needed, a deep well and a well fortified structure for comfortable living.

Now wake up! How far away is that place right now, how much would it cost? Don’t worry today we are going to talk about stepping stones to building a bug out location over time, ways to do it low cost and gotchas to watch out for while you do it.

I also have a few big announcements and some new stuff available for listeners.

Links for today’s Show

Original: http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/survivalpcast/~3/525488258/episode-130-low-cost-bug-out-location-options

Ice Storm - Winter RV-ing

We had a solid ice storm here last night, and temps dipped near 20.

Makes living in an RV interesting. Here are some tips I've picked up, mostly from neighbors who know more about this than I do. Sometimes you just walk around the RV park and pick up ideas.

Most RVs, including mine, are built for vacations, between May and October. I really haven't seen that the full timer market has affected the ability to insulate an RV effectively. Mobile Suites makes a very well insulated unit. The Cameo by Carriage has an Astro-Foil insulation option. They have a test-scenario on their web site of winter camping where they claim the unit held 65-degrees all night with 2 people in it during zero-degree weather. Non-Cameo dealers I've spoken to discount it. Regardless, that's why I'm looking into the foam and other insulation options. While it would require a massive rennovation, something inside tells me with a lot of work you probably could make an RV very energy efficient.

So here are a few considerations below 32:

External "Shower" - First of all, this is a joke anyway. My unit has a feature listed as "external shower". What it really is: A cheesy 22" sprayer hose. But there's more! Where the hole connects to the faucet on the side of the trailer, it's not a normal hose connection. And the water flow hole is barely big enough to poke a ball-point-pen through. Now, take the temp below 30 degrees. Yep, first place to freeze.

On my first freeze in the RV, this created a huge mess, backflowed into the storage area. It was really moment #1 of when I thought I might be certifiably crazy for thinking I could do this.

Solution: Disconnected the hose. Today it lies beneath piles of trash in a landfill near you!

Water Hose: Most people wrap their hose with the typical sponge-foam that you can buy at Lowe's, Home Depot or Wal Mart. I also added an electrical heater to it from the point of connection to land, so I can plug it in without an extension cord. I'm going to keep working on this a bit. The electrical wrap goes about 12'. My hose is about 30'. I haven't needed 30' anywhere yet, so I'm either going to cut it off and shorten it myself, which is doubtful. I'll probably just plunk down the money and buy a more appropriately-sized hose. If 15' would work in most cases, then my hose, wrap, and electrical heater will all work nicely together. The only challenge with this is the hose is so bulky. I just wrap it up best I can and throw it in the back of the pick-up when I'm towing. There's no way it could store on-board with all that foam.

Hose Connection - My unit has a side panel where the water hose connects. All the water and sewer valves come to that one spot. Problem: No insulation; either in front or behind. Modification: I removed a flimsy false wall behind this panel, thus opening up the rear of my storage compartment anyway. Then, weight issues aside, I packed in a load of R-25 fiberglass insulation behind this panel, where many of the open water lines are most directly exposed. I also cut a piece to fit inside the panel, so where the hose connects, I wrap insulation around that also.

Land Connection - Finally, some insulation around the faucet on land is good to carry with you. Many parks make any breakage of the faucet your responsibility.

Sewer Line - Let me give you the most valuable piece of information anyone could ever tell you about an RV. When the sewer hose is frozen, DO NOT touch it until it thaws! That's right. Do you remember that commercial for a pick up truck that aired many years ago. Two "bubbas" were sitting in the truck. They were stuck in a mud field. One says to the other..."you know, if we wait unil spring, I bet we can drive right outta here". That's about the way it is with the sewer hose. A frozen sewer line is as brittle as anything you could possibly imagine. You can't drain it, because it just keeps breaking. So if you just can't resist, at least have a 30-gallon Heavy trash bag in hand, and wear rubber gloves. OK. Lesson learned, and no, dammit, I don't have any pictures, but thank you very much for asking.

Underbelly - Mine has the heater vents running through the underbelly. Most units I think advertise this as a feature. Theoretically, if you run the propane furnace, it's supposed to provide enough warmth to keep the water and drain lines in the underbelly from freezing. I haven't dipped down to zero, and would wonder what might happen. I'm suspicious. What I did last night was run the furnace set at about 60. I supplement with electric heaters inside. When it thaws, we'll see if my plan worked. I also left the cabinet doors open under the kitchen and bath faucets, and dripped the kitchen.

Tanks - they make tank heating pads. Some units come with them already installed. They cost about $100 each. You tie them into your electric system. Some are AC/DC. They have built in thermostats where they start warming the tanks when the temp drops into the upper 30s. Haven't installed these yet. I may ultimately, if we have time, for prepping for mountain escapes.

Inside, I have 3 electric heaters. This works on the grid, but would suck the life out of my 440 amps off the grid. When TSHTF, if the grid goes down, as the Bible says, pray it's not winter. I have 3 down coats and heavy fleece on-board, so once the propane ran out, it would be tough going, sub-freezing.

Finally, an electric blanket makes for toasty sleeping.

Hope that spawns some thought. Stay away from frozen sewer lines!

Original: http://rvsurvivalist.blogspot.com/2009/01/ice-storm-winter-rv-ing.html

Hot Breakfast! Get Your Hot Breakfast!

Even kitties want hot breakfast! Especially in the cold weather part of the year, breakfast is important—hot breakfast! Hot breakfast can be so simple, too. Find your self a small crock pot. I have a couple of Crockettes that I picked up at thrift stores for a couple of bucks each. At bed time, I’ll any of a variety of things into the crock pot and le voila! Hot breakfast when I get up, all ready. Between that and the automatic drip coffee pot, it feels like God makes my breakfast, and is glad I am here.

Try these tasty breakfasts in a small crock pot. Most should feed two people.

  • ¾ steel cut oats, 2 ¼ cups water, dash salt, lump of butter. Can add any dried fruit or dried fruit combo that suites your fancy.
  • 1 cup millet, 2 cups water, dash salt, lump of butter or a glug of sunflower oil
  • 1 cup rice, 2 cups water, dash salt, lump of butter
  • ½ cup rice, 2 tablespoons sugar, dash salt, lump of butter; sprinkle nutmeg over the top
  • Find a small squash or bitty pumpkin, small enough to fit into the crock pot with room to spare; you’ll need to lift it out when it’s done. Cut the top off, cutting lowing enough that it’ll fit into the crock pot with the lid on. Clean out the guts. Sprinkle a little salt in the inside. Cut a little bit off the bottom to make it sit even if necessary—but try to find a squash that you don’t have to do that to. Now, break an egg into a dish and beat it well; add an equal amount of milk by volume, a couple of teaspoons of sugar and a dash of salt. Beat it all up good, and pour it into the cleaned out squash or bitty pumpkin you’ve already placed into the crock. Shake a little nutmeg over the custard in the pumpkin and put the lid on.
  • Find another small squash or bitty pumpkin, and clean and prepare it as above. Stuff it with sausage and diced onion, fried together.

If you need to feed more than one or two people, you can certainly try a bigger crock pot, though I’ve not personally done so. I don’t expect it would make any difference with the grains, just increase the measurements accordingly.

Remember all those people who told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Well, now you know how to make it the easiest meal of the day, too!

Original: http://ourright2selfreliance.today.com/2009/01/27/hot-breakfast-get-your-hot-breakfast/

Another Valuable Handbook for Crisis Preparedness and Survival

The Crisis Preparedness Handbook: A Complete Guide to Home Storage and Physical Survival is a 320 page Paperback by Jack A. Spigarelli, and you should have it in your survival library. This is one you won’t merely want to keep on your bookshelf.

Reviewers note that this book is highly informative and in depth. One reviewer said the Crisis Preparedness Handbook made him realize he should have started preparing years ago and that his current survival kit was inadequate. Another was glad the info on food storage included nutritional guidance for tailoring food storage for one’s own family. A large part of the book concerns food storage. Another wished he had a more current edition to take better advantage of the latest listing of resources. Another reviewer purchased copies to give as gifts to family members.

Here’s the description from Amazon.com.

“A complete guide to emergency preparedness for our uncertain times. Virtually an encyclopedia of food storage and personal preparedness, it covers topics from exactly how to design a food storage program tailored for your particular family to growing and preserving food, storing fuel, alternate energy, emergency evacuation kits, medical and dental, surviving biological, chemical and nuclear terrorism, communications, selection of firearms and other survival tools, and preparing for earthquakes. Dozens of detailed, expert checklists and tables with photographs and index. Extensive book and resource lists with regular and Internet addresses. An absolute must for those serious about preparing for and surviving during our dangerous times.”

Click to get your copy of the Crisis Preparedness Handbook. In these times, you need all the practical guidance you can get. Be a good neighbor and get extra copies for family and friends.

Original: http://destinysurvival.com/2009/01/28/another-valuable-handbook-for-crisis-preparedness-and-survival/

How Not to Die

I'm going to rant about a dead guy today. Actually I have never met him but he is just one of the many people I end up "knowing" because they leave their spouse a financial disaster to deal with after they die. I am running out of fingers to count how many clients I get (usually women) whose spouses die unexpectedly (usually men) who end up in my office with an armload of paperwork and no clue as to their financial position, no job skills because "their husband always took care of everything", and no money to even pay the light bill or car payment. Here are some tips on how not to die:
  • Don't die without an updated Will. Many people die unexpectedly. Because of this fact, they put off writing a Will or updating their Will which leaves a huge probate mess and lots of disgruntled relatives. Whenever there is a change in your life--a divorce, a new spouse, new kids or other heirs, new property added or old property disposed of--check out your Will and make sure it covers your current situation.

  • Don't die without life insurance. To bury you is going to cost a lot. If you don't have money now, your poor spouse certainly isn't going to have the money to pay for your funeral and burial or cremation. And that's only the tip of it. How will your spouse continue to make the house payment, pay the electric bill, make the car payment so the car won't get repossessed, or pay for the kid's braces? If you leave them no money they will have no money--it doesn't magically appear after you die!

  • Don't die in debt. This is hard since many people have debt in the form of a mortgage, credit card bills, tax debt, and other things they need to pay off, however most debt doesn't die with you so if you think your spouse will get the equity in the house, think again. Most debts attach to your estate so if you have a huge tax debt, the IRS will go after the equity in your home or other investments and they get to be first in line, not your spouse. Work five jobs if you need to in order to get your debts paid off. For larger debts, make sure to have enough life insurance to pay off the debt should you die.

  • Don't die with a spouse who is clueless and skill-less. I've met women who never learned how to drive because their husband always drove. I've met women who move to this country to marry a husband who later dies, leaving them in a strange country with very little knowledge of English or the customs of our country. I've met men who think their home is nearly paid for and that they have no credit card debt only to add shock to their grief when they find out that their wives had somehow put three mortgages on their home, emptied their retirement account, and left behind a stack of maxed out credit cards. I've met women who raised a family and were the perfect wife yet had never developed any job skills; after their husband's sudden death, they were thrust into a job market that they knew nothing about.

  • Don't die and leave an unorganized mess for someone else to sort out. Information on where to find your Will, life insurance policy, current bills, financial accounts, deed to your house, etc. should be easily accessible to your next of kin. How else will they find all of this stuff? You may have all of this information in your head but when you are gone, so is all of the information you carried with you.

  • Don't die with secrets. We all have secrets--passwords to our many online accounts, a hidden "slush fund" that we access for emergencies, sometimes there's a spare kid that the current spouse doesn't know about--whatever your secrets, consider how they will impact your spouse and your family after you are gone and make appropriate arrangements to straighten out any mess that many come up after you die.

I think that about covers it. If you have a current Will, adequate life insurance, little or no debt, a spouse who has been an equal partner in the running of your life together, organized paperwork, and a way to reveal any necessary secrets after you die, you will give your spouse the gift of being able to grieve your loss in peace instead of grieving while they are being evicted out of their home, walking to the food bank because they have no money and the car has been repossessed, and cursing you and themselves for the mess they are now in.

Original: http://codenameinsight.blogspot.com/2009/01/how-not-to-die.html

What is a Prepper?

As times get tough, and the bad news keeps coming in bushels, many folks are asking themselves the question, "What should I do"? Many search the internet for answers, using terms like "preparations", "how to be prepared", or maybe "preparing for what's to come"....

Some folks stumble across the term "prepper" or "prepping", and dig a little deeper out of curiosity. Some worry about their survival and search along that line. Or they arrive by one of a hundred other possibilities.....

I am a prepper. Survivalist. Whatever you want to call me, it doesn't matter. Five years ago, I had a good paying job, my wife and I got the "big" mortgage, the SUV, a nice big boat...... Then I lost my job. I struggled and struggled some more, sometimes working 3 jobs. I saved our house from foreclosure on the courthouse steps.

Things got a little better, but I just couldn't help but see that for every step I took forward, the world found a way to kick me two steps back. I've got a decent job now, and my wife works, but we're still barely keeping our family's heads above water as the price of life outpaces our "cost of living" raises.....

About 18 months ago, I came to the realization that things just weren't working anymore. Our money didn't go nearly as far as it did before. Whatever we had saved was eaten up by life, and I was in a place I didn't want to be: living paycheck to paycheck, doing without basic needs, with no safety net whatsoever. I've got a family to feed, shelter, clothe, and care for. Our situation was not good.....

I began my search. I read and read and read some more. I burned down the internet looking for answers. I looked for ideas I could use to simplify our lives, cut our expenses, and rebuild our savings for the proverbial "rainy day". I stumbled across folks who are living in "voluntary simplicity", living "off grid", building "unconventional" homes, and homesteading in self reliance. Being one who has always done most everything for himself, these things appealed to me.

As I continued to search the internet, I came across many blogs and websites on every topic under the sun. Being a voracious reader, I learned a great deal in a short span. In May of last year, I had an epiphany: bad times lay ahead. I accurately predicted the current financial crisis back then, and with my new found knowledge, I don't see much hope for recovery any time soon. I've learned that our "global economy" is nothing more than a great Ponzi scheme, and I've come to realize that the only way to insulate one's self from the collapse of that scheme is to prepare for self reliant living.

Am I way out there in left field? Maybe. But left field is getting pretty crowded these days! But the way I see it, at worst, I'll have saved my family a tremendous amount of money by paring things down to the bare essentials, stockpiling food, medical supplies, and emergency gear (and yes, that includes a few guns, and ammunition) at today's prices versus tomorrow's inflated prices. At best, I may have saved my family's lives.

It doesn't hurt at all to be prepared for what life might throw your way. Think of how different the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina might have been if the people of New Orleans had prepared. Whether it's the loss of a job, the loss of a mate, a natural disaster, financial collapse, or alien invasion (just kiddin'. Maybe..... heh heh heh), whatever your motivation, it's just good sense to have plans and preparations in place for the unknown. We buy insurance to cover us against the unknown and the unforeseen, and that's exactly what preps are. An insurance policy for life's unknowns. We do it for our families, and our friends and neighbors, because that's what life is really all about. That's why I'm a prepper......

Original: http://americanpreppersnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/01/what-is-prepper.html